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Upstairs at Garak's

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I last fiddled with this page on 17 September 2001. Nothing really new, but I hope to be making some changes soon, especially adding pictures from the road trip to Glacier and Yellowstone and points beyond. Please send me an e-mail with any ideas for improving this site.

Drove through Lone Elk Park in West County (Sprawlville) recently. What a wonderful treat; I'd never been there before. I'd always assumed Lone Elk was just a name, but it turns out this large county park has a significant herd of elk that are descendants of a herd brought in by the children of the Rockwoods school district decades ago. I didn't get to see any of the purported bison in the park, but the white-tailed deer were magnificent, as was the great blue heron fishing in the lake. However, the elk were the biggest treat--enormous animals, with the males almost as big as horses. I don't know if it was their closer proximity or what, but they looked bigger than the Yellowstone elk. I suppose that could be because of our mild winters and no predators. I saw two or three enormous bull elk with amazing racks, as well as a larger number of young animals and females, most of which were simply grazing by the side of the road in the heat of the day. Ended up seeing the owls and hawks at the world Bird Sanctuary in the park. If you haven't ever been to Lone Elk Park before take I-44 west to 141, take a right onto 141 and then immediately get off on Outer Road North, then take a left--the road will take you right into the park. You'll thank me.

New and Cool

Where is the International Space Station?
The link above will take you to NASA's site that tracks the movement of the International Space Station through space. I find that very neat and will keep this link up for a while.

This is my web page. There are many like it, but this one is mine. I am slowly overhauling and adding content; please keep coming back and reloading. At some point in the future, true to the page title, I'm going to have some Star Trek essays, episode summaries, maybe some Garak-related haiku. That stuff's going to take time. For now I'll just be a little free-form.

The enduring symbol of St. Louis
Go to the Metropolis St. Louis website

One of the groups that is helping St. Louis come back is Metropolis St. Louis, a group dedicated to attracting and retaining young professionals to our lovely city. It's a great group dedicated to action, not words. Check them out.

Featured Neighborhood

Go to Fox Park

I'll be highlighting different neighborhoods in the city from time to time. The current featured neighborhood is Fox Park, an interesting and diverse neighborhood on the South Side. Fox Park still has its problems, but it is facing them head on, and many believe it will be the next neighborhood to really come back, just as Lafayette Square has in the past 10 years. St. Francis De Sales Church has been a great force in the community. The church has become a focus for the large Mexican community in the city, and it is dedicated to getting homeowners to move to the area and make it even better. It's in a wonderful location, with great old architecture, affordable homes, and easy access to both downtown and the county. Get in there now, and say you were among the first to know a good thing when you saw it. Click on St. Francis De Sales Church to go to the site.

Finally, there's something to listen to in the middle of the day in the middle of America.
Now's probably a good time to say I'm AM in the PM. :)

In the end, there can be only one.

St. Louis has a lot going for it, especially its three great professional sports teams:
How 'bout those Rams?
The St. Louis Cardinals, the team of home run champion Mark McGwire
The St. Louis Blues, one of the best teams in the NHL

St. Louis Music Links

Thomas Crone's Local Band Guide: Occasionally acerbic reviews by Thomas Crone--Former Metropolis president, dj, former writer for the Riverfront Times, and man about town.
St. Louis Local Music Pages: Absolutely hideously designed pages that nevertheless are THE source for St. Louis band information.

St. Louis Online Information

Cityhits St. Louis: a good all-around St. Louis information site. Clever writing.
Citysearch's St. Louis site, which has a lot of features written by young local residents.
The Riverfront Times, a weekly alternative tabloid, better written and more relevant than the daily paper, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
St. Louis, Missouri--Good Morning STL: Includes lots of local websites.

Cool Bar

Although Tangerine in the Washington Avenue loft district will always be my first love, I'm also partial to the Golden Nugget (map above; it's not the sort of place that has a website). The David Surkamp Band plays there most Saturdays, and it's a cheap, fun place to experience the three Bs--bikers, beer gardens, and barbeque. Get your motor running, head out on the highway.

My Education

I went to public schools in Milwaukee and southeast Missouri. I then attended the University of Notre Dame on a National Merit Scholarship and various loans, scholarships, and grants. I was a double major in college: Government and International Relations and the Program of Liberal Studies, a three-year Great Books Seminar in philosophy, Catholic theology, and literature. As a result, you'll discover a lot of my links below are related to those two great conversation-stoppers--religion and politics. I graduated magna cum laude and was a member of Phi Beta Kappa.

My Politics

I'm an Irish-American and believe in a united and free Irish Republic uniting Catholic, Protestant, Dissenter, and none of the above. I am economically moderate and socially moderate to conservative. I am a member of the Libertarian Party. I'm pro-life and opposed to the death penalty. I'm also an equity feminist, which means I believe in the equality of men and women but oppose "women's studies" programs and the shoddy intellectual skills they instill. This is _not_ Susan Faludi's or Gloria Steinem's feminism. For a good idea of what equity feminists think, read "Who Stole Feminisim?" by Christina Hoff Sommers or check out the Independent Women's Forum.

My Religion

Christ yesterday, today, and always
For folks who didn't learn their Latin in school, put your cursor over the image to see the translation

Catholic, if you're interested, and even if you're not. I'm a lector at my local church and enjoy Catholic apologetics (refuting faulty arguments against the church). I've learned a lot from the following sites:

150 Reasons Why I Am A Catholic: Good site from Dave Armstrong with tons of Biblical support.
The Anti-Catholicism Index Page: Dave Armstrong's site that provides a clearinghouse of articles written in respose to anti-Catholic websites and writers. Indispensible for apologists who don't want to keep re-inventing the wheel when they have to deal with OLD objections.
The Archdiocese of St. Louis: Includes many local Catholic links and descriptions of all churches in the archdiocese. The Holy Father paid us a visit last year; this site chronicles his visit.
Catholic Answers, a radio show from California. Regular contributors include Scott Hahn, Karl Keating, and James Akin. You can listen to the show on their website, look up answers to your questions, and ask new questions.
The Catholic Community Forum: a site with an abundance of links to Catholic information, including papal encyclicals, the Catechism online, and the Douay-Rheims Bible online.
The Catholic Convert Site, Steve Ray, a former Protestant, describes his journey into the church and answers common objections.
Examining Protestantism: A Defense Of The Holy Catholic Church, Steve Haws' site exploring those Protestant faiths that still hold that the Catholic Church is the Whore of Revelation.
The Nazareth Resource Library, James Akin's website, with a wealth of answers to many common objections.
A Protestant's Guide to the Catholic Church: A former Baptist describes his conversion with tough facts and gentle humor.
The Protestant Inquisition (Reformation Intolerance & Persecution): This site does not say that the sad Catholic excesses of the past were okay because "everyone did it." That's untrue and even the Holy Father has apologized for these past wrongs. However, it does seek to set the record straight about wildly inflated anti-Catholic estimates of the death toll of the Inquisition and to point out that Protestants of the time were guilty of intolerance as well, a fact that all too often gets swept under the carpet.

Not Catholic? That's cool. I'd never presume to tell another what to believe, I simply defend the rationality of my own beliefs. But still...
Diabolical Curse Generator
The Diabolical Curse Generator - Get yours!!!

The Burning Question--What's In Your Video Collection?

I don't know what my small video collection says about me, but I'd have to think it'd be something about my strange taste:

American Beauty
Apocalypse Now: Charlie don't surf.
Apollo 13
Black Adder II: Bells, Head, Potato
Blazing Saddles: Best comedy EVER!
The Commitments
The Doors: Dance on Fire
Enter the Dragon: Everybody was kung fu fighting.
The Exorcist
Forrest Gump
Full Metal Jacket: Start the cameras, this is Vietnam--the movie.
Homegrown: One toke over the line.
Spalding Gray's Monster in a Box: Oedipal, schmoedipal, as long as he loves his mother.
Mystery Science Theatre 3000: The Movie
Pink Floyd: The Wall
The Pogues Live at the Town and Country
Pulp Fiction: Royale with cheese.
Re-Animator: Cat dead, details later.
Reservoir Dogs
The Rocky Horror Picture Show: Science fiction, double feature.
Saving Private Ryan
Schindler's List
Sling Blade: Umh, humh.
U2: Rattle and Hum
Plus, almost every episode of DS9 that KDNL has shown that features my favorite Spoonhead, Elim Garak

The Itching Question--What's in Your CD Player?

Hmm, call me eclectic. Right now I'm playing Kid Rock's "Devil Without A Cause," Sublime's Greatest Hits, and the Offspring's "Americana." Good luck trying to find some overriding connection in my musical taste. I like a little bit of everything.

Please Visit My Bookstore

Upstair's at Garak's Online Bookstore

I have set up an online bookstore in partnership with Through it you will be able to search for books that interest you, and I will also put individual links up for books that I find especially useful. This site gets a percentage of all books sold from this site. Your support for this site is greatly appreciated.

Hiking and Backpacking In Missouri

Well, this is a start to what I hope will eventually be a pretty good section on hiking and backpacking in Missouri. I am a beginning hiker, but I love it and am trying to get better. Taum Sauk Mountain in Iron County is a beautiful area, but challenging to the beginner. Don't let the idea that the highest point in Missouri is only 1772 feet convince you otherwise; it's a steep, rocky hike from the summit on the ridge down to the Devil's Tollgate and then back again. However, sometimes challenging is good.

Hike Photographs

Please give each page time to load--they are photograph-sized scans and there are 5 to 8 on each page. As soon as I have access to a scanner, I'll put up pictures of Alley Spring, Round Spring, Big Spring, Elephant Rocks State Park, and Rocky Falls. Keep checking back.

Ha Ha Tonka State Park
Meramec State Park
Taum Sauk Mountain State Park
Miscellaneous Hike Photographs

Missouri Hiking and Backpacking

Danny's Missouri Backpacking & Hiking Trail Reviews
Midwest Hiking And Backpacking
Sierra Club Eastern Missouri Group Outings List

General Hiking And Backpacking

The Beginner's Corner
Great Outdoors Recreation Pages

Fun Links

The Dilbert Zone: For all of you cubicle-dwellers.

The Gallery of Regrettable Food: Hard to describe, but very funny--it's a look at some really unappealing cookbooks and advertisments from the 1950s. This site was given to me by Free Eire. When you're done checking out the Gallery, go to the Institute of Official Cheer.

Kiss This Guy--The Archive Of Misheard Lyrics: Very funny. The lyrics you get wrong have probably already been misheard by someone else. Title of the page comes from one of the most famous misheard lyrics. It's from Jimi Hendrix's "Purple Haze"--"'Scuse me while I kiss the sky" is often misheard as "'Scuse me while I kiss this guy." Another good one is The Ants Are My Friends, which is a mishearing of "The answer, my friends" from "Blowin' In The Wind."

The Landover Baptist Church: Find out WWBD :)

The Straight Dope: Thank you, Mr. Know-It-All.

The Urban Legends Reference Pages: Because the stuff inside a golf ball WON'T kill you. True, it probably does, but this site doesn't, even if you're ashamed to admit you love "Survivor" (as I am).

Mullets Galore: A site dedicated to the worst haircut ever. Also known as "The Missouri Compromise."

Pop Culture, or, Why Did You Spend So Much Time Talking About Your Education?

"So, Mee-sa lied. Mee-sa cheata. Mee-sa briba men to cov-a up the crimes of oth-a men. Mee-sa'm an accessory to pound to death. an' the most damin'in thing of all : Mee-sa think Mee-sa can live with it. an' if Mee-sa had it to do over again, Mee-sa would."--Sisko's speech at the end of Deep Space Nine's "In the Pale Moonlight" after being run through the Jar-Jargonizer (told you I was a geek ;) )

Okay, time for the ugly confessions. Here's the first--I like Star Trek. I'm no trekkie, but as a former government major I find the politics on the now-defunct "Deep Space Nine" to be interesting and realistic, although I tend to root for the bad guys (Elim Garak is probably one of the best anti-heroes in any television show of the past 10 years. I also like the original series, The Next Generation, and to a lesser extent "Voyager," but "Deep Space Nine" is my favorite, making me an unconventional Star Trek fan. Here's the second--I'm a HUGE Stephen King fan and have been for most of my life. I feel he's far too often dismissed as a hack by people who can't be bothered to read his books. He has a sense of story that rivals that of Hemingway, Steinbeck, Twain, and others. His talent is completely underappreciated right now. Here's the third--I like professional wrestling. What can I say? I come from a family of men and was raised with the Nature Boy, Hulk Hogan, and The Macho Man, Randy Savage. I don't believe it's real, but it's fun to watch, what my brother refers to as "soap operas for men." Who do I root for? Well, now that the McMahons own both WCW and WWF, I don't hav to choose between the two anymore. I like Sting, the Total Package, and Diamond Dallas Page, as well as Mankind/Cactus Jack/Mick Foley, Stone Cold Steve Austin, and the Rock. Chris Jericho is growing on me. I'm no slack-jawed yokel, but I do like to watch men lay the smack down on one another. :)

Bad Movies And The People Who Pick On Them

And You Call Yourself A Scientist!: Great site, with a concentration on bad science fiction.

Bad The title says it all. Actually, it's a site that reviews both B movies and objectively bad movies. There's no other way to account for the presence of "Army of Darkness," "Dead Alive," and "Hell Comes To Frogtown," all of which were great cinema.

Jabootu's Bad Movie Dimension: Well-written site with an absolutely killer review of "Exorcist II: The Heretic."

Mystery Science Theatre 3000: RIP--The original and the best. If you're lucky enough to get the Sci Fi Channel, you can still see this inspired lunacy on Saturday mornings at 8 o'clock central. Comedy Central still owns the rights to the Joel Hodgson episodes (so why don't they start showing them again?!), but the Sci Fi Channel has the rights to the Mike Nelson episodes. Sadly, the series ended after 10 seasons. Hopefully someone will take up the banner again--so many movies are deserving of the attention of the 'bots.

Oh The Humanity: Young men seek out the worst films ever made and review them.

The Nitpickers Site: Ever notice a mistake in a movie? This site is the most exhaustive online database of those mistakes.

I Thought You Said You'd Have Information On Historic Preservation and Urban Renewal In Beautiful St. Louis

Patience, gentle reader. This stuff requires pictures, and it will take me a while to scan them in and organize them the way I want them. I should have pictures of three lovely threatened buildings--the old City Hospital, the Continental Insurance Building, and the Moolah Temple--up soon. Keep coming back. Incidentally, if you have any questions about this page or want to send me an interesting non-Irish-related site, please send me an e-mail. Thanks for visiting.

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